Jamie Biesiada
Jamie Biesiada

Whether they're selling it as a way to travel when their clients are short on time or they're introducing clients to new spots in the U.S., domestic travel is popular among Ovation Travel Group's advisors.

New York-based Ovation, which focuses on luxury, recently released its list of top emerging destinations in the U.S. The American West has seen "significant, growing interest," CEO Paul Metselaar said in a statement. In particular, Montana and Utah are surging. That's something he attributed to the resorts now available in those states.

Gina Gabbard, Ovation's senior vice president of leisure and independent advisors, pointed specifically to the Lodge at Blue Sky in Utah and the Resort at Paws Up in Montana.

Also trending are three cities: Austin, Texas; Charleston, S.C.; and Nashville. Ovation pointed to Austin's music scene and culinary offerings, Nashville's hotels and restaurants and Charleston's history, culture, weather and food as draws.

Andrew Steinberg, an Ovation advisor based in New York, said his luxury clients find value in domestic locations because of time.

"For them, getting away for a three- or four-day weekend means their time isn't spent traveling," Steinberg said. "Traveling within the United States means they can choose from easy-to-get-to destinations with a private plane."

He also said his clients enjoy the fact that traveling to a domestic destination typically takes less preparation than traveling internationally. Clients typically "feel greater comfort and sense of security" on domestic trips, as well.

He recommended a number of properties for advisors' luxury clients: the Amangiri in Utah: Blackberry Farm in Tennessee; Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club in South Florida; the Four Seasons Napa and the Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows in California; Paws Up; and Miraval, which has locations in Texas and Arizona.

"All provide great experiences close to home with five-star luxury, thus making it easier to sell more local trips," Steinberg said.

Ovation advisor Sylvia Lebovitch, also based in New York, enjoys introducing clients to new-to-them destinations.

"Selling domestic travel is always enjoyable for me because a lot of clients don't realize how much there is to see and do within their own country," she said. "Oftentimes, the best tip is to educate clients on the nature and landscape of places like Montana, Utah and Arizona and how they can rival far-flung places."

Lebovitch recommended fellow advisors suggest shorter domestic trips alongside longer international trips. Domestic trips don't result in jet lag or extended periods of time spent at airports, she said. They're also good options for clients without passports or with expired passports.

She did encourage agents to be aware of the requirements of the Real ID Act, which limits the kind of identification travelers can use to fly domestically.

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